New PM Articles for the Week of July 30 – August 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 30 – August 5. And this week’s video: engineer and ethicist Braden Allenby and biomedical engineer Conor Walsh consider how a coming wave of automation, robotics, and biomedical enhancements could fundamentally alter the trajectory of our species. Cool animations and lots of ethical issues in only 3 minutes. 

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell says it’s time to be skeptical about The Lean Startup. There are many paths to innovation; “No strategy fits every problem.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas has some suggestions for the strategic selection of an outsourcing partner. There’s more involved than just delegation. 3 minutes to read.
  • Ruturaj Kohok points out useful applications for augmented reality in five industries. I’ll bet you can think of at least two more after reading this. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Dale Howard explains why those question marks appear in the Duration column when you add a new task to Microsoft Project. 4 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall notes ten common failure modes for managing risk responses. 3 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shares some content describing the NASA approach to risk management, together with some principles on uncertainty, risks, and estimates. 2 minutes to read.
  • Darren Chait coaches us on the bane of the project manager’s existence: meeting notes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely describes a life cycle for consensus decision making, from down-selecting alternatives to testing consensus—excellent techniques! 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agnostic agile to #NoCeremonies and #NoProjects to team building. 7 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • Andre Helderman points out the need for unbiased algorithms and thus transparency in their design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between how well we understand the customer’s problem and the roadmap to deliver it. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andrey Salomatin goes into the details of prototyping with code: why, how, and what to expect when iterating on a product idea. 11 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam tells us why penetration testing should include exploit development—in other words, getting into the system. 2 minutes to read.
  • Carol Brands recounts her introduction to SAML (security assertion markup language) and how she realized what it meant for code maintenance as user roles proliferate. 4 minutes to read.
  • Noah Weiss clarifies some potential misconceptions about the product manager role. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from pursuing OKR’s to the benefits of weekly reporting to the likelihood of failure. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Koehn describes Abraham Lincoln’s approach to leadership using key events in his presidency. 6 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the power of helping people to re-frame who they think they are in moments of doubt or fear. 4 minutes to read.
  • Robert Noggle explains how to tell the difference between persuasion and manipulation. 6 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Shelly Fan recaps research into multi-tasking with a mind-controlled robotic limb. Yes, this really is a thing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ephrat Livni summarizes findings from research into how the brain manages learning: it seems that uncertainty enhances the process. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Fishbein explains how to master any skill. You just need to learn how to learn. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brian de Haaf explains why remote workers are out-performing office workers. 2 minutes to read.
  • Eric Torrence describes the rare skill of disarming a tense situation. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus shares some ideas about changing the way you look at the people who annoy you. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!                   

New PM Articles for the Week of July 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 16 – 22. And this week’s video: a quick review of recent changes to Microsoft Visio, followed by a demonstration of how to integrate Visio with Microsoft Project. 26 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Bill Taylor focuses our attention on three reasons why Netflix is successful. And focus is the key word here. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell revisits the failures of Blockbuster, Kodak, and Xerox. The root cause of each of their failures was not just disruption. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dan Kopf summarizes a report from the OECD on what higher tariffs might mean for economic growth. It’s not all about the retail price of manufactured goods. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Satya Narayan Dash tutors us on contingency reserve and management reserve. 9 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture explains David Hulett’s approach to integrating the risk register and the project plan. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Karlene Agard on value management in mega-projects—reducing cost without reducing value. Podcast, 16 minutes.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy delivers a very detailed mini-course on project stakeholder management, from identification to creating a Register. 16 minutes.
  • Mike Clayton provides detailed instructions on how to get the most from our next “lessons learned” meeting. 12 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Clarizen share their thoughts on milestones—on both good and bad practices. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Beyond Budgeting to why open floor plans suck to results of the scrum master survey. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Raffaela Rein describes inclusive design as removing barriers to access for the disabled, from the deaf to the color blind and beyond. 5 minutes to read.
  • Erik Dietrich describes seven types of testing (beyond functional testing) that you should be doing. 5 minutes to read.
  • James Kobelius considers what it might mean to certify an AI product as “safe.” 6 minutes to read.
  • Janelle Shane gives us a practitioner’s view of why artificial narrow intelligence is more achievable than artificial general 5 minutes to read.
  • Alex Aitken questions the predictive value of velocity. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from fairy tales and fables to accurate data to being compassionate. 5 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke explains the concepts exemplified by Herbie, a key character in The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt. This is a novel that introduces the Theory of Constraints. 7 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus points out some of the upsides to delegating. 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Mike Griffiths catalogs some of the AI assistant applications we should look forward to as project managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Max Steinmetz collates some recent statistics on Agile adoption and results. 3 minutes to read.
  • Alison Coleman previews a new report from PMI: Next Practices: Maximizing the Benefits of Disruptive Technologies on Projects. 5 minutes to read.
  • Oliver Staley reports on a new study from a business school in Madrid which compared formal and automated communication with informal communications at work. 2 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares an extract from her excellent new book, Project Manager, which describes three ways to get that first job as a PM. 5 minutes to read.
  • Berta Melder explains why serotonin is important to our happiness and productivity and identifies daily activities that can help us produce more of it. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills reminds us to observe a few simple workplace courtesies—like keeping your calendar updated. A minute to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of June 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 11 – 17. Beginning with this week, I’ve made some changes to the topic headings. Without a doubt, Agile methods are now firmly established, so rather than artificially differentiating them, I’ll try another approach—distinguishing between managing projects and managing software development. I’ve also renamed the first and fifth sections. I think these labels will be more meaningful but let me know if it needs further tweaking. And this week’s video: Elizabeth Harrin interviews Simon Harris on how to thrive as an “accidental” project manager. 22 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Craig Walker, an attorney with lots of experience in mergers and acquisitions, points out some of the potential pitfalls. 4 minutes to read.
  • Deena Zaidi reviews three big data breaches that we first heard about in 2017, even though they might have happened years before. Lesson learned: the coverup is more embarrassing than the breach. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dave Gershgorn reports that Amazon has already begun automating its white-collar decision-making jobs. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Johanna Rothman tries to visualize the organizational constraints that affect our projects. 3 minutes to read.
  • Anthony Mersino explains why most project managers don’t make good Scrum Masters. Yes, it’s a generalization, but there might be something to it. 7 minutes to read
  • Jerry Doucette shares his assessment scorecard for entering consulting / coaching assignments. It can help to understand the organization before you try to change it. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale observes that “traditional” funding models don’t work as well for agile delivery. 2 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy gives us a tip for keeping multiple projects all moving forward. 3 minutes to read, plus a 2-minute video, safe for work.
  • Renee Adair concludes her series on six current trends in project management. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from metrics that matter to good and bad pressure to why ‘Yes’ doesn’t scale. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Ian Mitchell addresses something not found in the Scrum Guide: who sends out the meeting invitations?
  • Daniel Elizalde interviews Rich Mironov on his four laws of software economics and his advice to IoT product managers. Podcast, 43 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tamás Török gets six expert opinions on testing distributed systems—both methods and tools—and how their architectures drive their methods. 11 minutes to read.
  • Michael Bolton answers the rhetorical question: which test cases should I automate? 4 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam describes a way to integrate security requirements with regression testing. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from teaching the stars of tomorrow to an ambitious person’s take on work-life balance. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel share the key points from their new book, “The Long-Distance Leader.” 4 minutes to read.
  • Alex Novkov begins a series on managing a lean team. 3 minutes to read.
  • Lukas Klose explains the “diamond” model of participatory decision making. 6 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Isaiah Sarju gives us a primer on Malware, from the different types to how we can avoid it. This isn’t just about viruses anymore. 6 minutes to read.
  • Georgia Frances King interviews sleep researcher Daniel Gartenberg on how much sleep we actually need—apparently, more than we’re getting. 13 minutes to read.
  • Corinne Putill reports on recent research that indicates that the sunk cost fallacy keeps us tied to other people’s dumb decisions as much as our own. 2 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Pawel Brodzinski reflects on the nature of respect, and asks: Can one be too respectful? 5 minutes to read.
  • Robyn McLeod shares her “4P” framework for preparing to have an important conversation. 2 minutes to read.
  • Art Markman points out three ways to identify cultural differences on a global team. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!